Faculty often wonder how to assist students with academic concerns in their classes. This includes:
- Students not showing up or who show up sporadically
- Students performing poorly or whose performance is irregular
- Students failing to communicate absences
- Students who seem disorganized
Below, we’ve included a few tips and resources for working with academically under-performing students:
1. Attempt to connect with the student: Send them a note to meet during office hours or before class begins.
- Share your observations and ask for their feedback on their performance. (NOTE: for tips and a script on how to speak with students, click here.)
2. Share resources – either in person or over email and strongly encourage a connection:
- Highlight important options that can assist with organization, study skills, and content knowledge:
- Learning Assistance Tutors (free) can help students prepare for classes, organize their assignments, manage time, and find new study paths.
- Content tutors (free, drop-in and by appointment)) can assist with specific study tips for your class, can review important concepts, and assist the student in working through difficult problems (using examples).
- Encourage use of other resources based on unique circumstances:
- For students who disclose a disability (medical/mental health), strongly encourage them to connect with Disability Resources. Classroom accommodations can assist in creating an equitable classroom environment for the student.
- For students experiencing anxiety or other mental health needs, encourage regular connection with a counselor. Elon offers as-needed TimelyCare virtual appointments and in-person counseling through Counseling Services.
3. Share your observations using an e-warning:
- E-warnings are reviewed by advisors who can assist in connecting with the student. Students receive a copy that includes a summary of the resources above. (NOTE: for information on how to submit an e-warning, click here).
- In addition to advisors, e-warnings are routinely assessed for patterns – thus student with more e-warnings get noticed and outreach can occur. Without e-warnings, there is no basis to know if a student might need individualized outreach.
- While some faculty share concerns that an e-warning feels too formal, we strongly recommend faculty submit e-warnings as often as possible when concerns arise.
4. Know when to suggest a course withdraw or medical leave:
- Students who are at risk of failing the class should strongly consider a course withdraw. All course withdraws must occur before the course withdraw deadline.
- Students who are at risk of failing all or most of their classes for medical, mental health, or hardship reasons should consider a leave of absence (withdraw from all classes).
- Students can learn more about their academic strategies on our website.